(Maspeth, Queens) In the wake of yet another deadly crash in Queens involving a driver with a suspended license, Senator Michael Gianaris brought together elected officials, community groups and transportation safety advocates to push for swift passage of his legislation cracking down on chronically reckless drivers with suspended licenses. This renewed effort followed the tragic death of Angela Hurtado, who was on her way to play bingo when she was killed by a driver with a suspended license making an illegal turn.
Days after a crash involving a truck driver with a suspended license tragically took the life of an 8 year old in Woodside, Senator Michael Gianaris introduced legislation that would make it a felony for drivers who drive with suspended licenses and kill or seriously injure someone in the process. A second bill would give law enforcement the authority to immediately impound the license plate of a vehicle being operated by someone with a suspended license.
“Noshat Nahian and Angela Hurtado are only the latest of many victims whose lives have been cut short by drivers who should not have been on the road in the first place,” said Senator Gianaris. “These are preventable tragedies. We need to enact these important proposals before any more lives are lost.”
Senator Gianaris joined his fellow elected officials, transit safety groups, and local residents to call for Mayor Bill de Blasio to focus his Vision Zero efforts on Northern Boulevard after four pedestrians were injured in an accident at a Woodside bus stop. “Here we go again,” said Senator Michael Gianaris, who introduced a bill in the Senate, which would charge drivers who continue to drive without a valid license and are in an accident that causes serious injury or death with vehicular assault. “Until we begin taking pedestrian safety seriously, we are going to keep standing at more and more press conferences
As Senator Gianaris continued to fight for better 7 train service in western Queens, he attended a meeting with the MTA about upcoming 7 train weekend closures. Senator Gianaris discussed the meeting with the LIC/Astoria Journal; read the full story here.
Following the release of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero Report, Senator Michael Gianaris issued the following statement in support of the Mayor’s Vision Zero efforts.
“I am pleased Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Report includes support for my bill to increase penalties on suspended and unlicensed drivers,” said Senator Gianaris. “Too many lives are needlessly lost at the hands of reckless drivers who should not be on our streets. I look forward to working with the Mayor to make our streets safer for all New Yorkers.”
Each year the residents of western Queens, and Long Island City in particular, wonder anxiously how many weekends the MTA will shut down the No. 7 train. In past years, the MTA did not even provide advance warning, adding insult to injury. All the prior notice in the world, however, cannot ease the pain of the 22 weekend closures we face in 2014.
Western Queens is home to the fastest-growing, most exciting neighborhoods in the five boroughs, and Long Island City continues to set the pace. People from all over flock here to live and raise their families, visit our wonderful cultural attractions, sample our world-class restaurants and enjoy our beautiful green spaces. Long Island City, and all of western Queens, deserves increased mass transit options, not ones that are being slashed.
Senator Gianaris joined transit safety advocates and local leaders to enlist the public's help in tracking down a hit-and-run driver who took the life of Kumar Ragunath and fled the scene. Senator Gianaris also doubled down on his calls to improve traffic safety on Northern Boulevard and bring reckless drivers to justice.
Senator Michael Gianaris celebrated recent improvements in our transit system, saying, "The extension of the Q19 and the streamlining of the Q102 are welcome improvements for western Queens residents. Western Queens was hit hard by the drastic MTA service cuts of 2010, and I've fought since then to get the MTA to see that our growing community needs more public transit options, not less. I'm glad to see we are regaining some service we never should have lost, but even happier to see the MTA taking steps to keep up with our fast-growing neighborhoods."
“It is good to see DOT continue to make good on its pledge to get serious about improving street safety in Queens,” said State Sen. Michael Gianaris. “For years it seemed our pleas for safer streets would fall on deaf ears, but Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero has brought results to the streets of western Queens,” Gianaris added.
Senator Michael Gianaris released the following statement regarding a possible deal to revive and expand Citibike.
"As news of a possible deal to revive and expand Citibike inches closer to becoming a reality, I renew my commitment to fighting for the inclusion of our neighborhoods in this innovative program. As a result of our hard work since bike share's debut, the DOT promised to include Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside in the next phases of expansion. I will work to ensure that those promises are kept no matter the details of any coming deal. Western Queens remains home to some of the most bike friendly neighborhoods in the city, and some of the most underserved by mass transit, making our community perfect for Citibike," said Senator Gianaris.